Teaching Kimchi is conducting a “Who’s Who” in the Korean blogging world and loves to introduce Jane to all visitors of this site. If you would like to be interviewed, please shoot us an email us. Without further ado:
Teaching Kimchi (TK): It seems you are fluent in Korean- How long did it take you to learn and how
did you learn it?
Jane: Actually, I’m not fluent. I’m not even at a conversational level. I’d say I’ve got survival Korean down but I need to focus on the grammar and vocabulary to get on the road to fluent. I’m taking classes right now, but, for me, it’s hard to motivate because even when you speak Korean here Koreans are so obsessed with English that they’ll talk to you in English. So you have these odd conversations where you’re speaking in Korean and they’re speaking in English. I’ve only seen one situation like that before. I was in Paris at a cafe in the Louvre and was seated next to a mother and daughter. The mother was speaking in German, and I speak a little, and the daughter was answering in English. It was funny to see, but when it happens here it’s rather insulting because you’re trying and it feels like Koreans are actively discouraging you to learn their language.
Teaching Kimchi (TK): What is your favorite Korean dish?
Jane:?? is my favorite fall/winter dish. I think??? is my favorite summer dish.
Teaching Kimchi (TK): Blogging is hard work what keeps you motivated?
Jane: It’s pretty simple. I like writing. If you like something, it’s easy to do.
Teaching Kimchi (TK): Do you have any tips for foreigners living in Korea?
Jane: Well, I just spent over 90 minutes having someone fairly new to Korea talk my ear off about how bad Korea and Koreans are. I had to point out to her that if she looks at Korea with a Western point of view and Western expectations she’s most definitely not going to “get it.” My approach is to really try to understand that I’m not in my home country. I’m a guest here. I try to keep that in mind when fundamental differences come up. I think the article they wrote about me in the Korea Times sums up my attitude: Make the Best in Life
Teaching Kimchi (TK): What do you think about Korean girls?
Jane: Honestly, that’s a stupid question to ask a Western woman. I actually think it’s a stupid question to ask Western men too. Honestly, one of the biggest issues is Western men getting hard times for dating Korean women, but the first question they’re asked is what they think. You can’t win if you answer it honestly or if you lie. Since I’m female and heterosexual, I’ll just skip it. It’s irrelevant what I think of them.
Teaching Kimchi (TK): What is your view of Korean people? (Stereotypes, thoughts, etc…)
Jane: Koreans are a bit too eager to prove themselves to Westerners. Also, Koreans are way too sensitive to criticism. They seem to forget that where they can level critiques at other nations and cultures those same critiques will be leveled at them. No culture or country is a perfect place with perfect people. So, basically, they need to get over it.
They can be very kind, but kind doesn’t make you perfect.
Teaching Kimchi (TK): An unforgettable moment, which you would like to share?
Jane: Well, I’ll share a sterile one. I remember my first time in Paris. I’d taken the overnight Orient Express from Vienna. I took a taxi across town to my hotel and, en route, there was a great view of the Tour de Eiffel. I completely geeked out, squealed and my cab driver got a big kick out of that. I really love Paris when I go and I’ve been lucky enough to go a couple of times and stay for a few weeks at a time.
Teaching Kimchi (TK): After hardwork where do you like to go for a vacation?
Jane: I just like to travel, either to some place new or some place familiar. Right now, I’d say Shanghai is one of my favorite cities.
Teaching Kimchi (TK): As for something fun- If you were an animal what would you be and why?
Jane: A pampered house cat. I get very jealous of my cat when I have to go to work and she’s taking another nap.
Teaching Kimchi (TK): If you had a billion dollars in the bank what would you be doing?
Jane: I’d give a big chunk of it away, in trust, for specific causes. I’m an insulin dependent diabetic so a lot would go to diabetes research. I’ve also got a thyroid disorder, Graves’ Disease, so I’d establish research trusts for both diseases. They’re both autoimmune disorders which basically means my white blood cells are overzealous and start attacking my organs. Maybe I’m too healthy and I need to go out and get a dirty job or something.
Education is also very important to me, so I’d establish scholarship funds and education trusts. I’d pour big money into my alma maters: UCLA, UC Hastings and now Ewha Womans University.
The rest would be for me. A nice home and a decent car (nothing too flashy). I’d go back to school to get my PhD (which is my plan anyway), write stuff no one would read and just enjoy my life.